Close to the borders of Italy is yet another delightful town of Switzerland but heavily influenced by the Italian culture due to its proximity with the Italian border. Many people even take day trips from Italy to this pleasing town as it’s not only impressive but a popular holiday destination among the locals and tourists. It wouldn’t be wrong to say why it’s considered the ‘Monte Carlo of Switzerland’.
The mesmerising beauty of Lake Lugano surrounded by mountains makes for a stunning place for any holiday occasion.
Some of the highly recommended things to do in this city are:-
Lake Lugano – The heart of the city and undoubtedly the best thing about Lugano, I could sit near the promenade for hours staring wild at the backdrop of this lake. You can even opt to take a cruise on this lovely lake or paddle around. On the promenade, there are a couple of restaurants and shops too, in case you are in the mood to shop or dine.
Piazza Della Riforma – Head to the main square of Lugano and admire the buildings and architecture around. There are plenty of places to buy souvenirs, swiss chocolates and indulge in some luxury shopping. Some great places to dine as well, and if you do get a chance try the cheese here, it is delicious. Around here you should visit the astounding Via Nassa, it’s a celebrated shopping area.
Swiss Miniatur – Another interesting attraction of Lugano is this park which showcases iconic buildings of Switzerland but in miniature. The park has beautiful flowers and is a fun place for adults and kids especially if you like to take pictures.
Monte San Salvatore – A true gem in Lugano is this famous mountain where you can get an amazing view of the lake and the city. You can take a funicular up-to-the mountain, or hike if you want to reward yourself with a phenomenal view after all that walking up. The view of Ceresio Lake and Swiss Alps is breathtaking.
Monte Bre – This mountain on the east of Lugano has a jewel of a town perched on the lower slopes, between the lush greenery of it. Gandria is a part of Lugano you shouldn’t miss, its spectacular. Walkthrough the medieval streets and make it a point to visit the charming Church of St Viglio. There is also a Swiss Customs Museum which might interest a few. If you do wish to visit the summit of Monte Bre, do so as its a whooping 925 metres above sea level. A funicular will take you up-to to the top, this mountain is known as the sunniest mountain in Switzerland.
The famous Olive Trail walk also starts from Gandria and offers hikers magical views of the lake. It takes slightly over an hour but is recommended if you love nature, scenic views and fresh air.
Parco Ciani – Situated near Lake Lugano this park is impressive, a stroll around this park is a must if you want to soak in the views of the city and at the same time be amazed by the century-old trees and some fabulous flowers scattered around the park. This park houses some important buildings as well like the Natural History Museum, the Cantonal Library and the Convention Centre.
Bellinzona – A 30min train ride will take you to Bellinzona and there you can spectate over the three castles of Lugano, it is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s a picturesque place and should be considered if you want to venture a bit further out from Lugano. From Castelgrande (castle) you can even get the spectacular view of the old town, it’s one of the oldest castles here. These three medieval sites are an important attraction here and also a part of ‘Ticinos’ (capital) symbol.
Morcote – I love enjoying long walks in the Scherrer garden of this wonderful town, the characteristic and the peacefulness found in this part of Lake Lugano’s town is incomparable. There is also an appealing Church of Santa Maria del Sasso, Chappel of S. Antonia and a gorgeous fountain to marvel at.
Apart from these few places, you should try Paragliding as you get to view the magnificent lake from the skies, also an hour away from Lugano is Monte Tamaro which during the summer period is a great escape they have some fantastic activities for adults and kids to enjoy. Another hidden gem of Lugano is Gole Della Breggia, it’s a geopark and the rocks here are supposedly hundreds of millions of years old. There are two paths to see this park and the river here is astonishing and has surprised scientists with its rich fossil values.
So if you are around the canton of Ticino, make it a point to see spend a few days around Lugano to enjoy this adorable part of Switzerland.